Considerations for raising ceiling height and making house a 2 storey?

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Posted by: from
9/14/2015 at 3:38:26 PM

We have a 1.5 story cape cod home built in the 20's. Moving isn't an option. Current home is 2240 Sq ft. Main floor 1640, 2nd half story is about 600 Sq ft. We'd like 2nd story to be 8 to 10ft ceilings, vaulted if possible but not a deal breaker. We have a cement block foundation with a dirt basement we'd also like to eventually build out, so work to foundation is very accessible.

How do I find out height restrictions and what the current height of my home is? What should we be taking into account and what would be a high and low estimate?

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Peter from Ace Renovations in Brampton
Date/Time9/14/2015 at 5:37:50 PM


Your first step is to take your property survey to your local zoning-building department at city hall. They can tell you what the regulations are for your area of town or city.

The usual height restriction is 35 ft. Just enough for a three storey house. The last three story addition I did had to have a flat top roof to stay under the 35' rule. You can apply to the committee of adjustment to go higher but there is no guarantee they will give you what you want.

Any new work done to the basement walls has to be OKd by an engineer and the company doing the work has to follow the engineer's drawings, or you could find your bed in your basement!

Adding a second floor to a 1200 sq.ft. bungalow will cost at least $150,000. In your case you might get by with half of that, depending on interior finish quality. Carpet or oak floors? etc....

Good luck!

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Wayne in Mississauga
Date/Time9/15/2015 at 9:08:52 PM

You will first want to contact your local city hall or building division to find out the restrictions for your area. If you wish to do something outside of the restrictions (height, windows, land use) you will need to apply for a variance.

If you are planning to rip off second floor and add a full second story (1640 sq/ft) you will be looking at a total project cost of $100K plus.

Most of the work is done pre-construction phase.

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